Travel deals 16.05.2009

Sorry this feature has been AWOL for so long. I’m still getting the e-mails, they’ve just been full of uninteresting offers. I’m going to mix in some specific destinations and demographics with the general deals on which I normally focus. The big, systemwide offers are thinner on the ground these days.

Lufthansa’s Kids’ Summer Fares
Got kids between two and 11? Wanna travel this Summer? Lufthansa wants to help. Until May 26, you can purchase childrens’ tickets at reduced rates for selected destinations, European and worldwide. Travel dates mare May 8 to August 31 and one adult fare qualifies for up to 4 children. The reduced childrens’ fare can be used in combination with certain reduced adult fares, so yay that.

Etihad Online-Only Sale
Until Tuesday, May 19, Etihad Airways has sales on flights from Munich to 12 destinations in Asia, Africa, Australia and the Middle East. The fares are quite good, but they do get about a 100€ bump when taxes and fees get tacked on. Travel must begin by May 15 and end by December 5. The prices look pretty consistent throughout the entire travel period and they’ve started using a nice, easy to read matrix for the flight schedule.

Barge Right In
Ok, some (if not many) of you probably already know about this, but I was so tickled when I heard about it a few days ago, that I feel moved to share. Barging is a fun way to tour the canals of France (and other countries, but I’m concentrating on France here). It’s leisurely, you’re waited on hand and foot and it’s a good repurposing of old freight barges. I’d love to try it, but it’s pretty pricey.

But while listening to a travel podcast the other day, I found out you can rent your own boat and drive it yourself through the canals (cleverly enough, called self-drive). They compared it to bumper bowling – it’s nearly fool proof – and the price is a fraction of what you’d pay on a full service barge. Plus, you put as many as 8 people on one of these boats, thereby making it cost-effective and good time with friends. The sites I’ve found for boat rental so far are Le Boat, the Barge Connection and H2olidays (a centralized listing of boat rentals). If any of you have any experience with this mode of transportation, please let me know your thoughts!